With the title wrapped up by Manchester United, in a somewhat mellow fashion in comparison to the title battle last season, you’d think there’d be less to look forward to this weekend. Well I’m glad to say there is still plenty of intriguing situations to be played out in the final games of the season. Tottenham reasserted themselves in their fight for the top 4 whilst the relegation battle is still not over unless you are Reading of QPR (albeit for a miracle). Let’s have a look at what we can expect this weekend.
Best Value Bet: Southampton to win at $1.9
Worth a cheeky one: Newcastle to capitalise on the Suarez biting scandal and win at $3
Manchester City ($1.29) Versus West Ham ($13), Draw ($6.6)
- Manchester City Last 5: LWWWL
- West Ham Last 5: WDDDW
Stunned last week by Spurs 3-1, Manchester City now have very little to play for except for perhaps some pride in the league. West Ham on the other hand have had a fantastic recent run being unbeaten in their last 5 and coming off a solid 2-0 win over relegation battlers Wigan. West Ham has been strong defensively having only conceded 4 goals in their last 5 and will need to repeat this form once more if they are to snatch any points here. With the title race over it’ll be quite interesting to see how City play. They can either come out and play without urgency to get a result or knowing that they cannot win the title they might come out and play for fun with the focus now on the FA cup final and consolidating for next season. They should still be too strong for West Ham here.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 2-1
Best Bet: Manchester City to win at $1.59
Everton ($1.52) Versus Fulham ($8.2), Draw ($4.5)
- Everton Last 5: WDWDL
- Fulham Last 5: WLDLL
It’s a massive ask for Everton to make top four or even top 5 now given that they are 5 points from 5th spot. The loss to Sunderland last week makes it all the more difficult for them to claim one of these prized positions. Fulham has had a tough run of late with games against Newcastle, Villa, Chelsea and Arsenal so it’s not an easy task to find form against a side like Everton this weekend whom are very strong at home. Despite Everton’s hopes of a top 4 finish gone, they should come out pretty strong here to get the 3 points considering they have still only lost once at home this season.
Predicted Result: Everton 2-0
Best Bet: Everton to win at $1.52
Wigan ($4) Versus Tottenham ($2.08), Draw ($3.65)
- Wigan Last 5: WWDLL
- Tottenham Last 5: LLWDW
Perhaps a danger game here for Spurs here when they travel to play a Wigan side that is quite capable of anything really. Earlier in the season Wigan did stun Tottenham 1-0 away so it’s not out of the question that they could upset again with their fight for Premier League survival well and truly still alive. Tottenham was quite incredible last week when they stunned City in the second half with 3 great goals when the game looked almost over. The return of Bale and Defoe was pivotal in that result and with the likely return of Lennon this weekend will only increase their chances. Spurs could concede here given Wigan are a fighting side, but Spurs should run over the top of them here with their new found belief and their goal on top 4 well and truly alive.
Predicted Result: Tottenham 3-1
Best Bet: Tottenham to win at $2.08 is value with the likes of Defoe and Bale back as well as Lennon to return.
Stoke ($2.16) Versus Norwich ($4), Draw ($3.3)
- Stoke Last 5: DLLLW
- Norwich Last 5: DLDLW
Both sides had good wins last week with Stoke finally back on the winner’s list of relegation destined QPR whilst Norwich had a good win over another relegation destined side in Reading. Norwich generally have struggled away this season with only the 1 away win and Stoke should be able to gather some confidence from that win over QPR to string two in a row. Having struggled for away goals and conceding just over 2 goals per away game all season, there could be a few goals here with Stoke looking to back up last week’s performance. Also we should remember the last time these two played it ended in a 3-3 draw, so there’s every possibility of a repeat here.
Predicted Result: Stoke 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.54 looks good value here
Southampton ($1.9) Versus West Brom ($4.7), Draw ($3.75)
- Southampton Last 5: WWWDD
- West Brom Last 5: WDLLD
Southampton is on a 6 game unbeaten run which has them sitting comfortably mid table where they can relax and play some good football and look forward to next season. West Brom has been a bit up and down of late with 2 draws and 2 losses in their last 4 but they are at least safe for another season so they don’t have to worry about a relegation scrap. Heading down to play Southampton won’t be an easy task as they are quite a strong side at home having only lost 3 times whilst conceding less than a goal per game. The form side gets the nod here.
Predicted Result: Southampton 2-0
Best Bet: Southampton good value to win at $1.9
Newcastle ($3) Versus Liverpool ($2.56), Draw ($3.55)
- Newcastle Last 5: LLWLD
- Liverpool Last 5: LWDDD
Before the infamous Suarez biting incident last week it would have been a probably Liverpool win here but given his suspension it certainly puts this in Newcastle’s favour. Newcastle is a side that has struggled most of the season but this second half of the year they have been pretty good at home. Despite their 3-0 thumping to the hands of Sunderland they rebounded nicely to get a 1-1 draw with West Brom away. Although the ban of Suarez is a massive blow for Liverpool though it does give a chance for Sturridge to play in a more central role which he prefers. Newcastle should capitalise on his absence here and recapture their strong home form.
Predicted Result: Newcastle 2-1
Best Bet: Newcastle Double chance at $1.57 for those safe minded people, otherwise a win at $3 is not out of the question
Reading ($2.7) Versus QPR ($2.78), Draw ($3.6)
- Reading Last 5: LLLDL
- QPR Last 5: LLDLL
This game could have been soo much more in terms of the fight for survival if results had of gone either sides way earlier in the season. The battle is now on for pride to really not finish last even though the same result goes for all of the bottom three. QPR really had a good opportunity to capitalise on the poor form of Stoke last week but again failed to fight. Reading lost their 20th game of the season and the focus is now on next season though promotion next season looks to be much harder than their efforts to survive this season. QPR has too much talent to be relegated and have shown at times that they can play some really good football. Both sides are playing with little pressure so it should be a fairly good contest here with a draw the likely outcome with both sides scoring.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.7
Chelsea ($1.37) Versus Swansea ($10.5), Draw ($5.6)
- Chelsea Last 5: WLWWD
- Swansea Last 5: LLLDD
Chelsea has played a lot of football lately but they continue to get some good results and will be feeling pretty good about their mid-week Europa League result against Basel where they got ahead 2-1 on aggregate. Swansea is safe from relegation and have been pretty good throughout the season but their last 5 games have been a little patchy where they haven’t had a win. Heading to Chelsea will be a big ask and their last visit here ended in a 4-1 thumping and it could be the same here as Chelsea look to be hitting some good form to close out the season. Benitez has rotated his squad pretty heavily and at times it has been scrutinised but it’s a necessary task to keep his players as fresh as possible in their hunt for top 4 and Europa League glory.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 3-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.58
Arsenal ($2.3) Versus Manchester United ($3.4), Draw ($3.6)
- Arsenal Last 5: WWWDW
- Manchester United Last 5: WLWDW
The Premier League winners head to Arsenal in what looks to be an interesting fixture. Many questions need to be asked in how United will play, who will play, and will Arsenal get a free stab at 3 points over United here. As the odds suggest for Manchester United, the ball is really in Arsenal’s court here. There’s two ways this game can go. First is that United will field a rotated side where Arsenal will be all the more confident of getting a result, though no United side is generally weak whether they have rotated or not. Secondly is that Ferguson will be as focused as always on getting results and demanding the best from his players. It’s likely that a number of players will lapse in their performance here given they have won the title and are really playing a bit more for fun with a win not high on the agenda. It’ll be an interesting game that surely won’t end in a United loss and likely not a United win so a draw looks a fair result here.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.62
Aston Villa ($2.34) Versus Sunderland ($3.4), Draw ($3.45)
- Aston Villa Last 5: WLWDL
- Sunderland Last 5: DLLWW
Sunderland is surely safe now after two fantastic wins over Newcastle and Everton whilst Villa need a win to give them some breathing distance from a Wigan side that is capable of closing the gap 3 points behind. Di Canio has certainly been an inspiration for his new side and most notably for his passionate goal celebrations but the fact remains he has done fantastically well to turn this relegation threatened side around in 3 games. Villa have been pretty good lately when you consider their first half of the season. This should be a pretty good battle with both sides still needing a win to really solidify their survival hopes though this will stifle out in a draw with a few goals scored.
Predicted Result: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score at $1.78
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